UK 1 May 2007 Time's up Tony The post-Thatcher reconstruction that never happened under Labour is the real challenge facing Sco Sign UpGet the New Statesman\'s Morning Call email. Sign-up Not only will Blue Labour be swept out of office by the SNP and allied forces (the new coalition of the willing) it will be cleansed from 1000s of local council seats where it has festered for far too long. Like the MMR that breeds in its privatised hospitals, Labour's grip on local authorities has acted as an incubus for backhanding and the sort of corrupting comfortability of eternal rule. 'Why oh why' cries a perplexed Unionist media as editors gradually wake up to the potential of constitutional change. Constantly being daubed 'subsidy-junkies' while funding the London Olympics is a minor irritant and Blair's Wars a real motivation but most people are looking forward. Why should Scotland host Trident 2 - a moral absurdity and a strategic nonsense? The sums don't add up and everywhere Labour's credibility is in tatters. Relentless privatisation rubs against the grain of the wider mainstream of Scottish political culture. The emblematic deluge of shite cascading from the PFI water treatment plant into the Firth of Forth by Edinburgh was perhaps the perfect symbol for the fag-end days of the Blair Project in Scotland. The owner of this consortium? Thames Water. So what happened after this major public health disaster affecting communities and wildlife for miles up the river estuary? Who was called to account? The head of SEPA perhaps, one of Labours countless useless quangos? The manager of Thames Water maybe? Nothing. Nobody was held to account let alone fired. Whatever happened to "rights and responsibilities". Where's your ASBO culture - your blanket solution to a lost generation - when it comes to chums and croneys running what should be public utilities? The incident was a shocking indictment of the failed Lib-Lab administration. So who will govern Scotland in their place? Not Labour. But will the Lib Dems retain their ministerial Mondeos under the leadership of the awesomely uncharismatic Nicol Stephen? Lets hope not for the grey men of the Lib Dems combine apparently green credentials (they want more renewables - but who doesn't?) with an audacious road-building programme and plans for airport extensions. Stephen was the man who gave the go-ahead for the hated M74 after a multi-million pound public inquiry deemed it a terrible idea. Not very liberal and not very democratic you might think. More promising could be a renewed Green presence - any advance on their current eight MSPs would be a boon and could have the affect of offering a little noticed alternative partner for the SNP if they can offer enough concession to bring in the Greens Swedish-modelled idea of 'confidence and supply' through which they don't enter a formal coalition but support the main planks of a minority govt in return for some 'red line issues' In this case, no new nuclear, no Trident and a massive increase in renewables. All of which would be a real victory and a shock to the British State pre actual independence. Other room for manoeuvre beyond a dispiriting and dissipating coalition with the Lib-Dems could be based on the oddballs, rebels and misfits that could be elected via the STV system, including Tommy Sheridan, Margo MacDonald and a host of independents. Could this unlikely band of troubadors help the SNP move beyond the slick slogan 'It's Time' and answer the question, yeah but time for what? There's a desperate need to lift the nationalist vision beyond sycophancy to business leaders and start sorting out the massive social problems Scotland faces. The post-Thatcher reconstruction that never happened under Labour is the real challenge facing Scotland. It's almost certain that a large part of the support for the SNP is strategic but that is not the same as saying its an anti-Labour vote. For decades the polls showed that support for independence outstripped support for the SNP and at some level that is still true. Whatever the result Labour have nobody to blame but themselves. Only yesterday Blair was asked about his party's poll flop and his answer was revealing. Smiling his inane smile and gripping his faithful coffee mug he "When you're mid-term its always tough". Somebody should have briefed him ('You're in Scotland Tony, its not mid-term its end of term, the parliament's been dissolved'). It's not Jack McConnell's fault, it's not Gordon 'Two Flags' Brown's fault either. But ten years is a long time in politics. Blair destroyed everything that Labour was based on, so he can hardly be surprised when its natural supporters reject him. Time's up Tony. › Who will Rhodri share his new toys with? Gus Abraham is the editor of 1820 Subscribe For daily analysis & more political coverage from Westminster and beyond subscribe for just £1 per month!